A number of big-name players suffered significant injuries last year that forced them to miss at least half the season. With plenty of carnage to high-profile quarterbacks (Andrew Luck, Tony Romo), running backs (Le'Veon Bell, Jamaal Charles) and wide receivers (Jordy Nelson, Kelvin Benjamin, Steve Smith, Keenan Allen), fantasy fiends were well aware of this unfortunate attrition. But the injury bug hit the offensive line, too, with two-time All-Pros Maurkice Pouncey and Ryan Clady both missing the entire season. And the other side of the ball wasn't immune, as Robert Quinn, Joe Haden, Cameron Wake, Terrell Suggs and DeAndre Levy spent much of the season on the shelf.
Of the players who competed in eight games or less (due to injury) in 2015, which one will bounce back to enjoy the most productive season?
Bottom line: Bell has some of the best skills out of any running back in the National Football League, and the players around him will only help build his production.
Even though there are a lot of big names on this list, I think what
Andrew Luck brings to his team is the difference between missing the playoffs completely and competing for a championship.
Secondly, Bell is a dominant force in the
Steelers' attack, and offensive coordinator Todd Haley will be eager to put him back to work. Few backs in the NFL are as dangerous in both the running and passing games. With Bell back in the mix, look for the
Steelers to maximize all of his myriad talents.
Nelson has had
a long time to rehab and that leg will be strong. He's shown us how productive he can be in the past, and Rodgers will find ways to get him the ball.
With a healthy
Ravens offense, Smith and
Joe Flacco will connect for big numbers.
My second choice in this exercise would be
Jordy Nelson. The
Packers wideout is also poised for another prolific season because of his relationship on the field with
Aaron Rodgers. Having an
Eddie Lacy who is in shape will greatly help Nelson's stats, too.
Bell suffered a tough knee injury, but I have talked to him and seen the way he works out. I know he'll be back and have a healthy, full season.
The QB struggled early in 2015, before he was permanently put on the shelf, but I think we'll see an Andrew Luck who is ready to play at the elite level this fall.